Laura Hope Crews


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(1880–1942), actress. She began her career as a child performer in her native San Francisco where she played for many years in stock before coming to New York in 1901. Crews started to attract notice when she appeared as Rosie Leadbetter in Merely Mary Ann (1903) and as Evelyn Kenyon in Brown of Harvard (1906). For the next several seasons she was a prominent member of Henry Miller's company, then she played Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, (1913) and the daydreaming Louise Marshall in The Phantom Rival (1914). Walter Prichard Eaton said of her performance, “She has, to a degree possessed by almost no other player of her age on our stage, the technical command of her trade.. .[she] plays Louise, the wife, with a skill, a variety, a force and a charm that delight the soul.” Although she regularly earned such praise and remained a sought-after performer, Crews never quite became a star of the first rank. Among her later roles were Mistress Page in a 1916 Boston revival of The Merry Wives of Windsor; Mrs. Deane in Peter Ibbetson (1917); Olivia Marden, who may have entered a bigamous marriage inadvertently, in Mr. Pim Passes By (1921); Dora Faber in the comedy The Changelings (1923); Judith Bliss in Hay Fever (1925); the possessive mother Mrs. Phelps in The Silver Cord (1926); Amalia in Right You Are If You Think You Are (1927); and the flighty Aunt Min in Her Master's Voice (1933). Her last Broadway appearance was in Save Me the Waltz in 1938, although in 1941 she headed a road company of Arsenic and Old Lace.

From The Oxford Companion to American Theatre in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Theatre.

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